Get to Know the Brothers Behind “Touching Home”
By Jamie Romas and Laura Braden
Yesterday we had the pleasure of sitting down with Noah and Logan Miller, the twin brothers behind the movie Touching Home, which premieres tomorrow at the Crest Theatre (Tickets and info HERE!). The Miller brothers wrote, directed, and acted in the movie, which is a touching account of their rocky relationship with their father. Oscar-nominated actor Ed Harris plays their father, who struggled with addiction and homelessness before dying in jail.
So how do two brothers with no filmmaking experience wind up producing a movie starring someone like Ed Harris? After their dreams of playing professional baseball came to an end, they found themselves crashing on a friend’s sofa in LA, “trying to figure out what to do next,” according to Noah. “We had always wanted to write a screenplay about our dad, so we just bought a book on screenwriting and started to write.”
It sounds deceptively simple, but Logan called writing the screenplay “the hardest thing we had ever done. Neither of us were the best students in school, but we both played baseball, and that taught us the discipline and work ethic needed to get it done.” One of the biggest challenges was actually just typing it. “Neither of us could type – it took us nine days. Not to write the screenplay – it was already written in freehand. Just to type it.”
Their father, who was alive at the time, not only approved of the idea for Touching Home, but regularly asked when “our movie” was going to be made. “He was really concerned with who was going to play him in the film. He wanted to make sure it was someone handsome,” joked Noah. In fact, they decided that Ed Harris would be the perfect candidate long before Harris ever signed onto the film.
The brothers had read that Harris was doing a Q&A at a theatre in San Francisco’s Castro district and decided to go. They arrived early, staked the place out, and when the panel was over, talked their way into an impromptu meeting with Harris. He was intrigued by their pitch and ended up watching the trailer on their lap top in an alley behind the theatre (between the stage lights and crowd, Harris literally couldn’t see or hear inside). After viewing it, he turned to them and asked, “So, do you want me to read for the part of your father?”
Harris’ participation gave the movie – and the twins – a much-needed boost in credibility, but they still needed to find someone to pay for the whole thing. That’s where Sacramento developer Brian Vail comes in. Vail, who had heard about the Miller brothers through a friend, believed in their project so much that he agreed to finance the majority of it. It was Vail’s idea to hold the premiere in Sacramento and dedicate the proceeds to the B Street Theatre.
Although they hail from Fairfax, California and currently live in Marin, the brothers are enthusiastic about their love of Sacramento. Indeed, they hit the town in style, staying at the Citizen Hotel, grabbing Pinkberry with us, throwing out the first pitch at a River Cats game, and – most importantly – eating cheeseburgers at the Squeeze Inn.
Despite the fact that they may very well become northern California’s very own Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, interviewing the brothers was a lot like hanging out with two of your best guy friends. They are genuine, animated, funny, and polite, and have an amusing tendency to finish each other’s sentences. When asked what it’s like to work so closely with your twin, they hesitated before responding:
“Honestly, that’s hard to answer because I’ve never known anything else…” Noah begins to explain, before Logan interjects. “I mean, sure, we get into arguments, but the love for each other always brings us back together.”
Noah and Logan’s Top Movie Picks
- Breaking Away (“almost a perfect movie”)
- The Outsiders
- To Kill a Mockingbird (“if you’re not moved by Atticus’ closing argument, there’s something wrong with you”)
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
- The Graduate
- Little Big Man (“Forrest Gump 30 years earlier”)
- Slumdog Millionaire
- The Lives of Others
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
- UP (Logan: “My girlfriend’s favorite movie”)
EDITOR’s NOTE: And congrats to Stephanie! She and her boyfriend won 2 free tickets to the premiere! Be sure and let us know what you think of the movie!